Money Magazine: Plymouth is #1 Place to Live

Money magazine has named Plymouth one of the best places in the nation to live. In fact, the Twin Cities northwest suburb was named the No. 1 place to live among U.S. cities with populations of 50,000 to 300,000. Money ranks the communities based on financial data, housing, safety, crime rates, weather and similar factors. Plymouth? Our little Plymouth? Really? But it’s truly no wonder why this city of about 71,000 made the list, let alone reign over the top. I really can’t sum it up any better than what Money magazine said about Plymouth, Minnesota:

Topnotch schools, good jobs, affordable housing, low crime, an active outdoor culture - yep, they're pretty much all here. Plymouth could have become just another Twin Cities suburb, but more than 50,000 jobs keep residents working there. Home prices are within reason: The typical three-bedroom, two-bath house goes for $350,000. The city's main school district is ranked among the top three in the state, and for culture, Plymouth's open-air amphitheater, the Hilde Performance Center, hosts numerous summer concerts. Residents are a quick drive from the Mall of America, the nation's biggest mall. And did we mention the outdoors? Plymouth boasts more than half a dozen sizable bodies of water. Of course, this being Minnesota, winter can be brutal: January's average low temperature is about 13°F. But when the mercury plummets, the locals get busy. In February the city hosts a Fire & Ice Festival that includes mini-golf, bowling and basketball - all right on the ice.

And it was Plymouth’s first appearance on the list to boot!

Of course as the Star Tribune put it, this means that Plymouth has some serious bragging rights on which to market. And you can be certain that they will. A community that breaks the annual magazine's top 10 usually advertises it. Like other cities before it, Plymouth plans to tout its No. 1 status on billboards, in its newsletter, at festivals and in the local media.

Have we heard something like this before? If it sounds like déjà vu, it probably is. In 2006, Eden Prairie made the top 10 and the city prominently displayed its ranking on its website and city literature for months. City politicians mentioned its No. 10 ranking often as an illustration of the city's success. Since 2006, Eden Prairie has dropped to 40th.

A city's ranking might rise or fall for many reasons. Changes in the housing market or nearby highways will definitely have an effect on a city’s standing. Some of the best towns become victims of their own excellence as they become overcrowded due to their desirability.

Though no other city in the state besides Plymouth MN made it to the top 10, Minnesota was certainly well represented in the top 100. Nine cities made the list: Eagan came in at No. 17, Apple Valley at 24, Lakeville at 26, Eden Prairie at 40, Maple Grove at 41, Burnsville at 43, Rochester at 70 and Blaine at 93.

Last year, the magazine ranked smaller cities - with populations between 7,500 and 50,000 -- to come up with its list of 100. In that tally, Chaska, population 17,400, was No. 8 nationwide. Money didn't rank cities in that size range this year. To see the full list of the 100 best cities in which to live and how they compare to Plymouth, please click here.

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